Handicapping the NBA: Best Bets for Friday Night
Handicapping the NBA: Best Bets for Friday Night

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Friday brings a ton of wagering opportunities in the NBA with 13 games on the schedule. For our last wagering column of the regular season, it doesn't get any better. Here is where my overall record stands heading into the night.

Player props: 16-12

Spread picks: 4-3

Parlays: 1-6

Let's try to cash in on this heavy slate. As per usual, all odds are obtained from the FanDuel Sportsbook.

PLAYER PROPS

Nikola Vucevic, 22.5 Points: Over (-108)

The Hawks are a team to attack when it comes to player prop bets including point totals. They play at the fastest pace (104.5 possessions per game) and allow the most points per game (118.8) in the league. Enter Vucevic, who leads the Magic with his 28 percent usage rate. The next highest player on the team is Terrence Ross at 23.7 percent. Vucevic has dominated the Hawks across three previous matchups, averaging 25 points per contest. With the Hawks now missing Dewayne Dedmon (ankle) for the rest of the season, Vucevic should feast against Alex Len and Deyonta Davis.

D.J. Augustin, 6.5 Assists: Over (+114)

I'm a bit surprised by this line. Augustin should receive plenty of playing time with the Magic pushing to make the playoffs and has a great matchup considering the Hawks allow the most assists per game (26.9) in the league. Augustin is not only averaging seven assists across his last 10 games, but he's averaged 7.7 of them over three previous meetings against the Hawks. With these plus odds, the over is a risk that could be well worth taking.

Dion Waiters, 14.5 Points: Over (-128)

Waiters is trying to carry the Heat into the playoffs on the offensive side of things, averaging 20.8 points across their last six games. He's logged 34 minutes a night during that stretch, helping him record an average of 17.8 shot attempts per contest. Although he did have a precautionary MRI on his knee after playing Wednesday, he checked out fine and is listed as probable. The Timberwolves have allowed an average of 118.8 points across their last 15 games, so this is a favorable opportunity to take the over.

Dion Waiters, 2.5 Made Three-Pointers: Over (-110)

Piggybacking on taking the over with Waiters in terms of points scored, the over for made three-pointers also stands out as a potentially profitable wager. He's averaged 3.6 three-pointers on 9.4 three-point attempts across his last 10 games. Expect him to keep firing away from behind the arc in this contest, which is huge considering the Timberwolves allow the highest three-point shooting percentage (37.9 percent) in the league.

SPREAD PICK

Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz: Kings (+10)

The Jazz have a few injuries that could have significant impacts on this game. Derrick Favors (back) has already been ruled out while Jae Crowder (quadriceps) and Ricky Rubio (hamstring) are both questionable after sitting out Wednesday. While the Kings are only 15-24 on the road this season, they are 20-19 there against the spread.  Meanwhile, the Jazz are just 17-19-1 against the spread as home favorites. This is a huge line, so I'll take the Kings and the points.

PARLAY

James Harden Over 6.5 Assists and Pascal Siakam Over 17.5 Points (+224)

As much as this might seem like a good opportunity for Harden to get some rest against the lowly Knicks, the Rockets are still trying to hold off the Blazers for the third seed in the Western Conference. That's a position they would likely love to be in so they can avoid a potential second round matchup against the Warriors. Not only has Harden been a machine in the scoring column, he's also averaged eight assists across his last 13 contests. The Knicks are tied for the sixth-most assists allowed per game (25.8), so I think Harden hits the over despite their being plenty of blowout potential here.

With the Bucks winning Thursday, the Raptors are now locked into the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets, on the other hand, are clinging to a faint hope of grabbing the eighth seed. The Hornets will be heavily motivated to play well and are a much better team at home, so there is the potential that this game stays close throughout. That should leave plenty of playing time for Siakam, who has scored at least 23 points in five of his last seven contests. That stretch included a 23-point performance against these same Hornets. Throw in both Cody Zeller (knee) and Marvin Williams (foot) being out and Siakam has a chance to thrive against the Hornets depleted frontcourt.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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